Cincinnati Convergys employees have been dedicated Freestore Foodbank volunteers, quietly amassing thousands of service hours over the span of a decade or more. Terri Dahlem, a director at the company, has been leading that effort since Convergys had a site in Norwood.
“Before our facility moved downtown, I had the opportunity one day in 2002 to tour the Freestore Foodbank Mayerson Distribution Center,” says Terri. “I was amazed at the span of your operation, and saw the opportunity to utilize a lunch hour every now and then to pitch in and help. Soon, we had a large group going regularly – doing everything from pulling up carpet to sorting food cans.”
During that time, Terri began to develop many relationships in the organization, and today, she is regarded as an honorary member of the Freestore Foodbank family. Many staff members can recall when her daughter, who is graduating from college this year, was still in grade school.
When the Convergys team in Norwood moved downtown, logistically it was too difficult for them to continue volunteering time at the warehouse. But the relationship didn’t end there. Terri worked with the Freestore Foodbank Development team, and orchestrated volunteer projects that could actually be brought to their site for completion. They’ve helped the organization with multiple projects, from assembling thousands of placards for the Check-Out Hunger, Check-Out Power Pack, and Check-Out Duck campaigns in Kroger stores, to stuffing envelopes for our Taste of the NFL annual event – all from a downtown conference room.
“Convergys is a valued corporate partner whose culture of community involvement is dictated from the top down,” says Charisse Berry, Manager of Corporate Giving for the Freestore Foodbank. “When one employee gets involved, every employee gets involved. It’s a pleasure to collaborate with a company where regardless of internal changes, they remain committed to giving of their time, talent and treasure.”
Vicki Frey, senior manager at Convergys, has been very instrumental in coordinating projects in-house, and making sure even the employees who have limited time, but want to help, can join in the effort and be productive. “We all feel it’s important to support this community,” she says.
Terri and her family continue to volunteer their time at their favorite Freestore Foodbank special events and programs, including Holiday Operations, which involves distributing thousands of holiday meal boxes from the Customer Connection Center just prior to Thanksgiving and Christmas.
“One of the things I really appreciate about the Freestore,” says Terri, “is that they very thoughtfully use volunteers’ time well; everybody always has something meaningful to do. I’ve seen this organization expand so much over the years. It’s exciting to watch the growth and know you’re reaching more hungry people every day. There’s so much more to the Freestore Foodbank than meets the eye!”